Coming out was one of the hardest things that I ever had to do. It seemed so redundant, and yet at the same time I felt as though a lot rested on it at the time - I felt like to live authentically, and as my true self I need to say openly; "hey, I fancy girls." When I did, it all went well - sort of. Mostly, people assumed that by admitting I liked girls, this meant that I exclusively liked girls. At the time, it was easier to just agree that this was the box that I fit into - maybe I did exclusively like girls? Maybe everything had just been building up to this point here and now I was living as I was meant to be? As it was, I let it slide. I didn't know what I'd correct them to even if I'd wanted to correct them and I so I accepted my label as a lesbian and moved forward without giving it much though.
Until suddenly I didn't feel like a lesbian anymore - I was interested in men, and women, and I was torn between the two. I didn't feel like bisexual fit, I didn't feel straight nor lesbian - so where did that leave me? Pansexual fit - I fall in love with people irregardless of gender - and yet this was something people didn't seem to understand.
"But you're seeing a boy now, right? So it was just a phase?"
"Oh I assumed you were straight, I didn't know you'd had a girlfriend!"
"But you'll likely end up with a boy in the end right?"
People say things like the phrases above without realising how derogatory they're being to my sexuality, how invalidating that this is to me and everyone else who falls within the less typically accepted brackets of the LGBTQA+. This heteronormative way of thinking - that if we see someone with a member of the opposite sex they must be straight, or if nobody explicitly tells us otherwise they must be - but that isn't how the world works. Sexuality is fluid for a lot of people, for a lot more people than we might think on the whole, and this attitude to sexuality is damaging in more ways than one.
We are not straight until we have had sex with a member of our own gender, or another gender, in the same way as we are not asexual until we lose our virginity - sexuality exists within us and it's something we'll explore when we're older; it's not something that is created dependent on our experiences with different genders. We need to stop putting onto children at a young age that the normal sexuality for them is straight - because there is no normal sexuality; it's tailored personally for each person, it's slightly different for each human being and these attitudes, or rather a change in these attitudes, could change many people's lives for the better.